How to Connect a Stereo System | Stereo Barn

  How to hook up a stereo system in 5 steps

  Now that you have all your equipment, it’s time to start building it into your personal music machine! (See the pictures below for a visual aid! They will walk you through these steps to make it easier to understand.)

  1. To start, it helps a great deal to draw a picture of what you are connecting. Just like the blueprint to a house, a diagram of your stereo system will help you visualize what you’re working towards. Draw all of your equipment (speakers, receiver, and sources) and then draw the connections between them. Basically, your sources will connect to the receiver, and then the receiver goes to the speakers.

  2. Set up your equipment where you want it to go. Figure out where you want to put your speakers. How will you run the cables in between everything? Should you put your CD player on top of the receiver to make it easier to reach the disc tray? Do you need to make room for a turntable? Think of how you will use the system the most and what will be most comfortable for you.

  Unconnected stereo system on a standHere’s a rear view of the stereo receiver and CD player with the many connections available.

  3. Connect the audio output from your first source (a CD player, for instance) to an audio input on your receiver with your cables. The red cable will plug into the red holes, and the white cable will plug into the white holes. Which audio input do you use on the receiver? Try to match it to the name. So, if you’re hooking up a CD player, you’ll plug your audio cables into the “CD” input on your receiver.

  CD player analog audio output connection

  Stereo receiver with CD player connectedPlug in the audio cable into the CD player’s audio output (top picture) and then plug the other end into the stereo receiver’s CD audio input (bottom picture).

  4. Run your speaker wire from the receiver to your speakers. Look for the speaker terminals (red and black) and stick the wire in there. Some receivers may have clips that you push down to stick the wire in; others you may have to unscrew a cap to stick the wire in and screw it back down again. You’ll have to do the same thing at the speakers. Make sure your speaker wires are not too tight as this could cause problems later on. Give yourself enough slack to connect everything comfortably! Pro tip: label your speaker wires and cables where you connect them into the receiver because if you have to disconnect your receiver for any reason, you’ll be able to quickly identify which cables go where.

  Receiver terminals with speaker wire

  Speaker terminals with audio cableConnect the speaker wires from the terminals on the receiver (top picture) to the inputs on the back of the speakers (bottom picture).

  Stereo receiver connectionsHere’s a rear view shot of your receiver with all the connections you’ve made. Here, your CD player is connected on the left side, while your speakers are connected to the terminals on the right side.

  5. Enjoy your stereo system!


  At this point, you should have everything connected and ready to go.

  Try moving the speakers around to see what positioning gives you the best sound. Use wire ties or zip ties to bundle up your cables, giving you a clean, organized stereo system.

  Once you do this a few times, you will get the hang of it. It’s just like doing anything, the more you practice it, the better you get.

  I hope this has been educational and has helped you get your stereo system setup and running. If you have any questions about setting up a stereo or want a more in-depth explanation of anything in this article, please comment below.

  03-23-2021 – Please note that this post is no longer being monitored.? Thank you.?